Q&A

Of course, no cellphone use while driving, but what about smartphone-based GPS?

09/22/2016
Q. We have a policy that does not allow employees to use their cellphones when driving for work, but what about GPS? Many employees say that they cannot safely get to a location without using the GPS functions built into their phones.

Why should we worry about job descriptions?

09/22/2016
Q. We are working on updating our job descriptions for our production employees. Are there any legal considerations we should take into account? We do not have any job descriptions for our office employees. It is hard because those jobs change so much. Is this a problem?

Can we demand employees fly, not drive, on trip?

09/07/2016
Q. One of our star employees wants to drive to an upcoming trade show instead of flying like everyone else. Can we insist that he must travel by air?

Can we require e-pay in Texas?

09/06/2016
Q. Can a Texas employer require its employees to accept payment of wages through an electronic transfer of funds?

If we feed employees, do we have to pay them for working through lunch?

09/06/2016
Q. Occasionally, when we receive a big order, our nonexempt employees are required to work through their lunch breaks. Although we do not pay them for this work, we buy delicious lunches for all the affected workers. Is this lawful?

Can a manager ask, 'Is everything OK at home?'

09/02/2016
Q. If an employee makes four mistakes in a short period of time, can the employer ask, ‘Is everything OK at home?’ This person does office work, not factory, so it’s not a safety issue.

How do we complete I-9s for out-of-state staff?

08/31/2016
Q. Some of our employees work in other states out of their homes. For completing the I-9 Forms, can I use a notary public to verify employees’ documents?

Is it legal to dock nonexempts' pay if they clock in late after breaks?

08/26/2016
Q. We give employees the choice of using two 10-minute breaks each day or combining them into one 20-minute lunch break. The employees are required to punch out and in for these breaks. Now, we have a policy that docks employees 15 minutes’ pay if they’re four or more minutes late returning from a break. Is this legal?

What are the legal risks of layoffs?

08/26/2016
Q. In recent months, a sharp decline in revenue has forced us to consider downsizing. What are the legal risks associated with a layoff, and how can we minimize them?

Is it legal to require a lie detector test in California?

08/22/2016

Q. I am in the process of interviewing candidates for an administrative position. This person would work very closely with me, and I need to trust him or her completely. Can I bring in a polygraph expert and use lie detector tests during the final interviews?

Are we required to grant leave for holidays and pay extra if employees have to work?

08/22/2016
Q. Several of my employees have asked me about which holidays they have time off, and if that time will be paid. Do I have to give my employees any time off for holidays? If so, must it be paid time off?

Under California law, do victims of domestic violence have unique leave rights?

08/12/2016
Q. We suspect that one of our employees is a victim of domestic violence. What are the leave requirements for domestic violence victims under California law?

Is comp time in lieu of overtime legal?

08/11/2016
Q. We have a team of nonexempt hourly employees who will soon be putting in significant overtime for an important project. May we compensate them for their overtime work with additional paid vacation time equal to the total accrued overtime?

Do we have leave obligations to help a potential victim of domestic violence?

08/11/2016
Q. One of our employees may be a victim of family violence. What are our legal obligations to provide leave for family violence victims under Texas and federal law?

Can job ads request U.S. work authorization?

08/11/2016
Q. Our 40-employee company advertises for jobs internationally but we aren’t able to offer sponsorship to any candidate who is not legally able to work in the United States. I realize we can’t put “Prefer U.S. citizen” on a job ad, but can we alert candidates to our requirement?
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